Google redesigns its largely ignored social network. Jordan hates it.
We love the Internet. Except when we hate it. Every week, Jordan Valinsky bottles the angst of his Millennial generation and finds something to despise about the Web.
Just like a “real housewife,” Google+ went through a major nip/tuck procedure Wednesday, trimming the fat and accentuating its positives. Apparently, G+ had enough of you ignoring its texts and ditching it to “hang out” with Facebook.
Badgered and bullied for much of its existence, Google’s half-assed attempt at a social network wasn’t getting the attention it wanted. When it sauntered into the bar last summer, everyone quickly berated its last season apparel, collectively gave it the stink-eye, and stuck to their dependable, hoodie-wearing friend, Facebook.
Poor Google+, just sitting there at the corner stool, sipping a low-cal mojito, in a sparkly, new dress that it bought from Nordstrom because it wanted to dethrone Zuckerberg and become the head bitch in charge. The social networking site wanted to replace the words “like” and “unfriend” in your vocabulary with the phrases “circle me” and “Oh, did you see what she +1’ed last night? It’s like she’s settling.”
Welp, that didn’t happen. In the nine months since its ceremonious launch, Facebook toned and tightened its muscles while Google+ limped along buoyed by its one decent feature: Hangouts. Hell, if even Brad Pitt gives up on you then it’s time rejigger something—just ask Jennifer.
So! How do we all feel about the new redesign? Let’s not be complete jerks here; it certainly doesn’t suck.
The fresher, brighter Google+ isn’t ugly by any means, but calling it “gorgeous” is a bit much, Forbes. The only things you can call gorgeous are: beaches in Greece, Crate and Barrel’s showrooms, and Padma Lakshmi. Websites, especially Google+, aren’t “gorgeous.” They’re designed to serve a mass-appeal and get the job done without creating controversy.
And Google+’s revamped “Hangouts” section is nice enough. The “Hangouts to Watch” section could be a fun time-waster once more people learn how to use it. Although I don’t chill out, er “hangout” everyday, it’s a nice option to have—just like that blender in my pantry.
One day, when I am swayed enough to share my secret Riesling-soaked mojito drink recipe with my friends, I will put on a slim fit shirt, pretend I am a mixologist at The Cheesecake Factory, and show my friends how to make it using “Hangouts.” Just what Google+ imagined when they created this, I mean who would want to listen to Pres. Obama speak?
But let’s get to the negatives. Ugh, all that white space! As Isriya Paireepairit pointed out, the content only fills about 27 percent of the screen. Nearly a third of the top of the site is wasted and much of the right side is filled with nothing, except for a “trending” box. Wait, that sounds familiar… Oh, and we’re using hashtags now, too? Also, I need to pick another cover photo? So hard; hate this.
But Paireepairit is right, and judging by all the +1s he’s gotten on his critique (1,663 of those and counting) and the reshares (800 of those), a lot of people agree. Just like a newly minted presidential nominee, the feed will probably move to the center soon enough but as Robert Redl pointed out, the white space is for hangout video boxes. Apparently, we need more talking heads in our lives.
New icons, a cleaner profile page, and slicker chat boxes pretty much round out the redesign. But unless Google+ can magically transform itself into Facebook, this redesign is the equivalent of a jealous housewife flipping over a table just to get attention. And attention that many of us don’t want to give it.
Photo via YouTube
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